Child Development Specialist and author of “The Book About Tony Chestnut”
School is back in session and so begins academic lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic. The return to school should be a positive experience and it should be a safe environment where children can learn without fear. Sadly, splashed throughout the news I hear tragic stories about students being bullied, even hazed. Concerned, I collected a group of eight teens and asked them the question, “Have you ever been bullied in school?” To my amazement, every child had a frightening story to share and some as far back as kindergarten! They shared with me how they would avoid stairways, areas on the playground, the cafeteria, even going to the bathroom – locations where the tormenting bullies were known to strike. The conversation then turned to those who endured constant intimidation at the hands of their aggressors. It became quite evident to me that our schools need to add a fourth “R” to the standard fundamental, Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic – Respect!
Prevention is the key and by teaching our children at their earliest stages about respect, empathy and communication we can supply them with the positive tools and life skills towards a bully free tomorrow. Since I believe actions speak louder than words, I’ve developed a comprehensive early learning curriculum that addresses the values of respect. And as part of our Kindness Counts Campaign, I’m offering it for free. See how you can create a kindness tree that will beautifully bloom with your child’s kind acts. Children will learn about compassion, respect, empathy, and how to express acts of kindness in both words and actions. And, how these kind acts can have a positive impact on the world they live in. Then each extended activity allows children to experience firsthand the wondrous feeling that results from even the smallest kind act. Present a curriculum rich in kindness, and watch your class blossom into thoughtful children eager to continue on a path of being considerate, caring, sympathetic and kind towards others.
Learning more about bullying is the key to success!
Bullying is a problem that affects all children—those who bully, the victim and those who witness the violence. Practicing bullying prevention skills as early as preschool can teach our children the life skills that will increase their confidence, and help them to develop positive, healthy peer relationships.
Visit education.com and stopbullying.gov and learn more about bullying. You will find a wealth of information in these articles explaining how to prevent bullying, myths about bullies, reasons kids bully, types of bullying and how to recognize the warning signs. These articles are geared towards children ages preschool and up.
Do you have a story or activity you would like to share related to bullying? If so, please post it here.